Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tabasco Sauce

1958 Tabasco Ad

I was looking in Google Analytics at search terms that brought people to my site and I noticed a number of Tabasco related inquiries.  Hmm interesting.  I don't think I talked too much about Tabasco except early on when I wrote the recipes for the Creole Collard Greens but I can take a minute now and speak about it.  Personally I love Tabasco, I put it on just about everything... well not ice cream surely but you get the point.  I have to buy it in the enormous food service size bottles though.  I'm not much of a pepper head when it comes to hot sauce.  Habanero peppers give me the hiccups and I think people who are eating Ghost Chilies are out of the heads.  It's a condiment, plain and simple and I use it to add zest to my food not dominate the flavor. 

Tabasco has been around since the late 1860's when Mr McIlhenny came back to his Avery Island home to find it completely destroyed by invading Yankees.  Fortunately he discovered the place had become overrun with Tabasco peppers, seeds of which a friend had originally brought back from Mexico after the Mexican War in the 1840's.  McIlhenny came up with the idea of macerating the ripe peppers with Avery Island sea salt and vinegar and letting them age in used whiskey barrels and thus Tabasco Sauce was born.  It gained popularity in the US after being featured in the Colombian exposition in the 1880's but it really didn't become a household item outside Louisiana until the 1950's when this ad was made.  People were still rather timid about spicy food back then as both recipes call for a whopping 1/2tsp of Tabasco, but dad remembers his father using it in many dishes back when he was a kid. 

More recently Tabasco introduced their new flavors starting out with a mild Jalapeno Sauce in the 90's and eventually adding Garlic, Habanero and Smoked Chipotle.  The nutritional info is about the same no matter what sauce you buy, no calories, no carbs and around 35mg Sodium per teaspoon.  There are many other hot sauces out there and I've tried many of them, but non can replace the original Tabasco.

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